The trippy, river-like floor of this unique bookshop in Zhen Yuan, China reflects arched book shelves and leads visitors through the space. Book retailer Zhongshuge commissioned Shanghai studio XL-Muse to design the interior of the surreal store. The design was influenced by the store's location, which resides in an area dominated by arched bridges and water.
The architects referenced the store’s waterside location by introducing a black, reflective floor that mimics the effect of water and augments the presence of books in the interior. The space features a main reading room with sculptural, white pillars and arched shelving, a pavilion-like kid’s area, and a lobby. The kid’s space features a merry-go-round, roller coaster, hot air balloons and pirate ships to give children a happy reading experience as if playing in the playground. The wooden shelving is painted in vibrant colors, while the ceiling resembles a starry sky.
“In the past, guided by water, many literati and poets visited and gathered here,” said the architects. “[The bridges] used to be the guiding factor of culture and commerce, and they represent that the bookstore is the bond between humans and books at the same time.”
Photos by Shao Feng